May 8, 2014

Minnesota contribites to national impact statements

Congratulations to Minnesota Affiliate members for their contributions to the 2014 National Extension Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) program Impact Statements. Summary below taken from

NEAFCS, President Kathy Olson mentioned "...these national impact statements are shared by Caroline Crocoll of NIFA, with legislators and other partners at the national level. Caroline shared how she uses this information at the NEAFCS association section at PILD ( Public Issues Leadership Workshop Joint Council of Extension). This is a good indicator of how the association is working on behalf of all of FCS Extension".

Childhood Obesity
School Nutrition Programs - USDA Standards
In Minnesota the Extension office is countering Childhood Obesity, and Food, Nutrition, and Health by offering trainings to school foodservice teams about health eating initiatives, and increasing consumptions of fruits and vegetables. "Energizers" are also being offered in classrooms to pair physical activity with academic concepts.
Food and Nutrition
Training Volunteers and Professionals
Cooking with Whole Grains is geared at Minnesota child care providers. The training helps them learn how to identify and cook with whole grains, and then introduce whole grains to children through experiential learning.
Food Safety
Entrepreneurial Food Safety
A Food Preservation Basics Train-the-Trainer for Tribal Colleges and Communities workshop provided resources and local expertise to five Minnesota Native American communities. Minnesota educators also presented entrepreneurs and market vendors with classes on pickle safety, jam/jelly making & marketing, and produce preservation tips aimed at customers.

Increased demand for food preservation education prompted Minnesota educators to create five-minute online mini-modules on 22 food preservation topics that reached 2,000 home preservers. Each module emphasized critical science-based information and steps to achieve a safe and tasty preserved product.
Healthy Home and Environment

Disaster Preparedness
Minnesota trained 261 frontline disaster professionals via a webinar on identifying resources and key strategies to assist disaster survivors in making informed financial recovery decisions.

February 28, 2014

NEAFCS-MN Expense Voucher

NEAFCS Expense form.docx
Here's the expense voucher that needs to be used for approved NEAFCS-MN expenses. Please submit to the President.

January 8, 2014

NEAFCS-MN Scholarship Application

NEAFCS-MN Affiliate Scholarship App.docx

December 2013 Exec Bd Minutes

Minutes NEAFCS-MN Dec16BoardCall.docx

Letter to NEAFCS-MN Members

Greetings NEAFCS-MN Members! 

On behalf of NEAFCS-MN Executive Board, congratulations on becoming a member and welcome to our organization! It's going to be a magical, exciting year with Kathy Olson leading us as national president! I hope that you're making plans to attend the Annual Session in Lexington, KY, September 15-18, 2014. A committee has begun work on how we will generate monies to hold a reception honoring Kathy during the Annual Session. If you'd like to get involved, there's still time to get on the committee!

It's the goal of the Executive Board to provide opportunities for growth for each of you. But we need your help. Please share your ideas, get involved on a committee, and consider running for office! The more involved you become, the more you'll get out of our organization!

Many of our colleagues in Family Development, specifically in Health and Nutrition, are working through very challenging times. We know that difficult decisions have been made and many of our members have been directly impacted. The Board wants to extend our support to everyone involved. We want you to know that we care about you.

Most of you have heard by now but we want to acknowledge our members, Rosi Heins and Cindy Petersen, who will retire at the end of January! Congratulations and best wishes on the next chapter for both of you! We hope you'll become lifetime members and continue with us!!

Important dates are approaching:

  • MN Affiliate Award applications are due 1/15/14. For details refer to the message sent 12/11/13 from Sara Croymans on behalf of the Awards Committee.  Here's contact info for awards applications:
  1. Hard copy of application materials must be postmarked by 1/15/14 & mailed to: Rosi Heins,      U of MN Extension, Andover Regional Office, Bunker Hills Activities Center, 550 Bunker Lake Boulevard NW, Suite L-1, Andover, MN 55304-4122
  2. Scanned/pdf copy of complete application packet must be emailed by the end of 1/15/14 to Rosi Heins at:
    • NEAFCS-MN Scholarship applications due date has been changed from 1/15/14 to 6/1/14. The Executive Board decided to move the date to later in the year to allow for further discussion of providing additional scholarships since we want to have a large delegation attending the Annual Session.  Currently two-$250 scholarships are available to members to be used for NEAFCS, JCEP and PILD professional development opportunities. The scholarship application including selection criteria is posted on the blog. Stay tuned for updates on this.

    Remember, we want to hear from you about your ideas, concerns and ways to improve our organization! Check the December Executive Board call minutes and Scholarship Application, both found on the right-hand sidebar.


    Happy 2014!

    Kathy Brandt

    NEAFCS-MN President

    September 30, 2013

    2013 Bylaws

    NEAFCS-MNAffiliateBy-Laws 8-2013.docx

    Galaxy IV 2013 Photos

    IMG_0781.JPGsubmitted by Mary Caskey

    Galaxy Attendees - Mary Caskey, Debra Botzek-Linn, Kathy Olson, Suzanne Driessen, Kathy Brandt. (missing, Karen Shirer)

    Installation of National President, Kathy Olson


    Kathy Brandt and Kathy Olson celebrating as Presidents this coming year; Kathy as MN Affiliate President and Kathy as National NEAFCS president.

    Galaxy IV - Bridging the Centuries: A New Era for Extension

    Galaxy IV - Bridging the Centuries: A New Era for Extension
    Pittsburgh, PA
    September 16 - 20, 2013

    Submitted by Kathy Brandt, NEAFCS-MN Voting Delegate and Scholarship Recipient

    Thank you for the opportunity to represent NEAFCS-MN at our national gathering held in conjunction with Galaxy IV - Bridging the Centuries: A New Era for Extension. The "Galaxy" Conference provides a unique opportunity to come together in a joint conference while celebrating the diversity of the individual organizations. Every five years the Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP) sponsors and provides leadership for a Galaxy Conference for the entire Extension System. This conference invites participation from all JCEP organizations, ECOP and other partners critical to the Extension mission.

    Attending Galaxy for the first time and attending NEAFCS as a voting delegate for the first time provided new opportunities for me to learn and grow as President-elect. As I participated in the NEAFCS Central Region Business Meeting and the NEAFCS Annual Business Meeting, I learned more about the structure and purpose of our national association, the details that it takes to keep moving forward, and how we can become more involved. Our individual involvement on the state level is vital to the health and well-being of our national association; from spending time investigating the re-designed website to applying for awards to serving on a national committee. Consider what you can do to become more involved.

    Highlights of the conference include the introduction of our NEAFCS-MN National Award Winners: Sara Croymans-Distinguished Service; Lori Hendrickson-Continued Excellence; Mary Caskey, Suzanne Driessen, Trina Barno, Marla Reicks-School Wellness; and Suzanne Driessen-Internet Education Technology AND the installation of Kathy Olson as the NEAFCS President! What a huge honor for all of us to have Kathy leading our professional organization for 2013-14! We are extremely proud of her!

    September 11, 2013

    NEAFCS-MN Affiliate Award Winner Photos

    We had a wonderful day at Thompsen's Greenhouse in St. Joseph on Sept. 10, 2013 for the NEAFCS-MN Affiliate Professional Development Day. One piece of the program was presentation of state awards. Here are some photos of award winners from the day:

    Debra Botzek-Linn
    Thumbnail image for IMG_0703.JPG
    Cindy Peterson, Becky Hagen-Jokela
    Mary Caskey
    Kathy Brandt, Suzanne Driessen
    Lori Hendrickson
    Mary Schroeder, Kelly Kunkel, Connie Burns
    Susanne Driessen
    Jill May

    September 9, 2013

    Your 2013-2014 Officer Candidates

    We will be coming together at our annual meeting in Duluth in October and on our agenda will be election of two new officers. Kathy Brandt will be moving to President, Jennifer Garbow will move to Past-President, Connie Burns will serve as secretary for the second year of her term. Kay Lovett will finish her two year term as Treasurer.

    We will be electing our new President-Elect and Treasurer (two year term). Meet our candidates!

    Lori Hendrickson - Pres-Elect Candidate

    Hello NEAFCS-MN members and friends,

    My name is Lori Hendrickson and I am an Extension Educator & Extension Professor for the University of Minnesota Extension. I am sharing this biography with you to get to know me a bit, as a candidate for President-Elect of NEAFCS-MN.

    I have worked as an Extension Educator in Family Resource Management (or other such titles) since 1988. Prior to that, I taught high school home economics in Pipestone, MN and Orr, MN. My work with the University of Minnesota Extension has been varied and began with a position in Itasca County Extension, with later transitions to the Grand Rapids Regional Office. My work over the years has included basic personal financial management, youth and money topics, housing, and financial recovery in disaster.

    I hold a Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree with emphasis in Special Education and a Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) degree in Home Economics Education, both from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. I am an Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC) designation from the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education and am certified in Family and Consumer Sciences (CFCS) by the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences. I have been a member of AAFCS/MAFCS for over 25 years and a member of NEAFCS for about 24 years.

    During my years as a member of NEAFCS-MN I have been involved as an area representative in northern Minnesota and as a committee member and chair of a variety of committees. I have participated in the wonderful experience of PILD and have taken part in a number of national conferences. I have often thought about when the "right time" would be to take a leadership role. As I looked at my commitments over the next several years and current grant projects wrapping up, I thought there wouldn't be a "better time" than now to take that leap. So, I am placing my name in nomination for NEAFCS-MN President-Elect.

    When I am not working, my husband John and I enjoy traveling, looking for treasures at antique stores and cheering on our UMD Bulldogs throughout the football and hockey seasons. We have recently welcomed a kitten to our family and are having fun getting to know her.

    Lori Hendrickson.png

    Mary Caskey - Treasurer Candidate

    Greetings fellow NEAFCS-MN Members!

    As a candidate for Treasurer for our state association, I would like to share a little of my NEAFCS and Extension background. I have been an Extension Educator in Health & Nutrition for the past 14 years with the University. I have worked in the field of nutrition for over 30 years in a variety of programs targeting low-income audiences such as Head Start, WIC and the SNAP-Ed program. My work as an Extension Educator has also focused on providing trainings to school foodservice staff to increase their nutrition knowledge base and to improve the nutritional quality of school meals served to Minnesota students.

    I have been a member of NEAFCS-MN since 2005 and held these offices: President-elect, President and Past President during the years 2009-2012. I have also served as co-chair of the Awards/Membership committee. My attention to details, organizational skills and knowledge of our organization would serve me well as your state treasurer. I have attended 4 national NEAFCS conferences with plans to attend the Galaxy conference in Pittsburgh this September. I believe it's important to support and be an active member of our state association.

    Personally, my husband, Doug and I live in central MN, just west of St. Cloud. We are very fortunate that our 2 daughters/husbands live within easy driving distance of our home so we can spoil our 4 grandchildren. As you can imagine, our life currently revolves around spending time with these 4 amazing little people - what a joy to see life through their eyes. We are going through a second childhood spending our free time ATV riding, snowmobiling and canoeing.

    Mary Caskey.JPG

    September 12, 2012

    Bylaws 2011-12

    NEAFCS-MNAffiliateBy-Laws 12-13_11.docx

    Annual Report 2011

    NEAFCS-MN Annual Report 2010-2011.docx

    Candidates 2012

    Following is information for candidates that are running for office. The first paragraph is from Kathy Olson, who is running for national NEAFCS President- Elect. Minnesota is extremely proud of Kathy and wish her the very best as she runs for this important office!

    The next two bios are for NEAFCS-MN Affiliate positions of President-Elect (Kathy Brandt) and Secretary (Connie Burns). Elections will be held at our Annual Meeting in October in Bloomington.

    KOlson.jpg NEAFCS provides an amazing network of professional colleagues and friends that one can develop through involvement with this incredible organization. My Extension career has provided me with leadership and professional development opportunities where I can serve our membership in a leadership role. I have attended 21 Annual Sessions in addition to other state and national conferences, holding numerous leadership positions. I have served on the Board as Co-liaison, Secretary and Vice President for Professional Development and have gained considerable knowledge and experience, and have a good handle on all aspects of the Association. I enjoy meeting Extension educators from all over the country, learning more about their work and building relationships and networking. We have an outstanding group of professionals serving on the Board and I would be honored to continue to be part of the team. I am committed to continuing the advancement of the well-being of the organization and to create and support new and exciting initiatives for NEAFCS and its members. I would be honored and humbled to fill such an important role for the association.

    kahty brandt2.jpg
    Candidate for President-Elect
    Kathy Brandt, Extension Educator, Food Safety

    Greetings NEAFCS-MN Members!

    During my career I've had the opportunity to work in a variety of positions, in and out of Extension. Included in the opportunities are teaching public school in the area of Family and Consumer Sciences in Crookston and Worthington; being a W.I.C. coordinator and nutrition educator with Cottonwood-Jackson Public Health; managing the Home Service Marketing test kitchen for the Schwan Food Company; and positions with NDSU Extension and U of M Extension in Cottonwood County, Nobles County, and currently as a regional educator based in Marshall. All totaled, I've had about 20 years with Extension. During those years I've served on many committees for our association but haven't said yes to a leadership position. You might be thinking "it's about time" and that's what I thought too! It's an honor to be asked to run for president-elect and I'm looking forward to working with all of you to keep good things going.

    On a personal note - I've been married to Brian for 33 years; we have two sons, Erik and Chris; and one wonderful grandson, Aiden. These guys are the lights of my life! We keep busy with competitive BBQ, community and SMSU involvement, family and friends.

    Connie Burns webphoto.JPG
    Candidate for Secretary
    Connie Burns, Extension Educator, Health & Nutrition

    Dear Members and Friends of NEAFCS-MN Affiliate,

    My name is Connie Burns, and I'm the Extension Educator in Health and Nutrition for the West Central (Morris) Region.

    I am writing to express my interest in becoming Secretary for the 2012-14 term.

    All organizations work best when communication is accurate and timely, and I feel that I can provide this in the role of Secretary. I have worked in the secretarial position before for other organizations, and feel I have the knowledge and background to help our organization move forward.

    I've been with Extension for five years and have especially enjoyed the variety of work that is involved with the position. We are making great strides 'out on the prairie' with families and communities in need!

    Before coming to Extension, I worked as a Registered Dietitian in hospitals, nursing homes and the WIC Program. I have taught basic nutrition courses at the community college level, both face to face and online. I have a special interest in staff development and facilitative teaching methods, and have designed online courses for our Community Nutrition Educators across the state.

    I live north of Alexandria with Fred, who is retired from over 30 years with USDA/NRCS (Natural Resources). He consults now with Ducks Unlimited. I'm currently half-way through the Masters of Education Program through UM-Duluth, so that keeps me busy. If I'm not working on a class, you'll find me hiking or biking in the local state park (Lake Carlos) with a camera in hand. I've taught yoga for years, and continue to offer classes when I have time.

    Thank you for considering me for the Secretary position with NEAFCS-MN!

    Connie Burns, MS/RD

    May 9, 2012

    PILD Update

    In April, I had the privilege attending the PILD (Public Issues Leadership Development) Conference in Alexandria, VA. I represented NEAFCS-MN Affiliate, and others attending were Eleanor Burkett, John Bennett, Jerry Tesmer, Jill Grams, Dave Nicolai. Sarah Greening and Gwen Gmeinder helped to lead the Minnesota delegation. We had the opportunity to meet with Dean Durgan while there as well as having dinner together as a group one evening.

    I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I felt it was a worthwhile experience and would encourage anyone to attend that has the opportunity. Two of the days were spend in workshops and presentations with the experience culminating in a day on the Hill. We had the opportunity to meet with Senator Franken and legislative aids for Senator Klobuchar and state representatives.

    Senator Franken offers breakfast each Wednesday to Minnesota constituents, so we had the pleasure of tasting Mahnomin Porridge. I thought it was great so I thought I'd share the recipe here for those who want to give it a try (great source of fiber :)):

    Mahnomin Porridge
    4 cups cooked wild rice
    1/2 cup roasted, cracked hazelnuts
    1/2 cup dried blueberries
    1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries
    1/4 cup pure maple syrup
    1 cup heavy whipping cream

    In a heavy nonstick saucepan, add cooked wild rice, hazelnuts, blueberries, cranberries, and maple syrup and cook over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Add heavy cream and heat through, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Ladle into bowls and serve immediately. Serves 4.

    September 12, 2011

    Story about Minnesota FCS and 4-H Heritage

    4-H 'opened the world' for women in the 1930s

    Thanks to member Kim Asche for sending this "Great story about home economist... FCS and times of the past. Reminded me of our heritage."

    For three local women--Verna Mikesh, Evelyn Kern Dose and Gertrude Esteros, now in their 90s--4-H changed the course of their lives. Read the story: